The aim of this PhD thesis is to investigate locomotion microactuators based on the generation of progressive waves in solid (silicon and flexible polymers) plates by piezoelectric actuation. Various practical scenarios, in contact with a surface, either solid or liquid, and submerged in liquid will be considered. In the field of robotics, numerous mechanisms of locomotion have been studied, some of them inspired by the animal world. For swimming robots, structures that mimic the locomotion mechanism of fishes were proposed. In this research work, we focus on the generation of non-stationary wave motion in a thin plate so that the energy and the impulse propagate through it, resulting in a transport with respect to the solid or liquid medium in contact with the plate.
The potential applications of this PhD thesis range from ultrasonic motors to micro-robotic locomotion on surfaces or under immersion in liquid, as well as the miniaturization of the transport of objects in different media, haptic feedback, etc. In a global trend towards miniaturization, it is reasonable to conceive chips at the micrometer scale with the capability to move over surfaces and fluids, sensing and actuating on them as walking MEMS.
Education required: Master in Electronics or Telecommunication Engineering, Physics or similar.
For more technical and financial details, please send a short CV to:
Prof. Jose Luis Sanchez-Rojas at joseluis.saldavero en uclm.es